It doesn’t matter if you’re a CEO or a student; excellent grooming speaks volumes about the kind of person you are. Here are some simple, affordable and universally achievable ways to dress for success.
Simple, sure, but you’d be surprised how refreshed and youthful you can look simply by slathering your face in a light moisturiser day and night. Dry skin emphasises wrinkles and fine lines, whereas hydrated skin looks plumper and smoother.
2. File your nails and cut your toe nails
Keep your toenails and fingernails short at all times. Long nails accumulate dirt and can get caught on things.
3. Trim your nose and ear hairs
Laziness is no excuse. A quick trim with some nail scissors or a a clipper at your barber can mean the difference between you looking like a gentleman and Hagrid. Do it often because, unfortunately, those pesky areas tend to grow faster than everywhere else.
4. Use a finger-tip amount of mousse to keep your part in place
Don’t slick back your hair a la Danny in Grease, but a small amount of good quality hair product will keep your hair in order and prevent a windswept look. Furthermore, no one suits a middle part. Avoid at all costs.
5. Shave daily. If you have a beard, trim it
Especially if you work in an office, stubble can betray a lack of organisation and/or sleep. If you’re lucky enough to be one of those men who can go a day or two without, do so, just make sure you look neat.
6. Put lip balm on
Chapped lips are surprisingly distracting when you’re having a conversation with someone. Ensure you are able to get your point across by nipping the problem in the bud with a healthy dose of Blistex or Carmex, especially in winter.
7. Get tweezers and remove stray eyebrow hairs between your eyes
Be wary of over-plucking, but removing particularly dark, wiry or long eyebrow hairs will open up your face. If you’re chicken, get your wife, partner or daughter to do it for you.
8. Trim the hair at the nape of your neck into a straight line
When your hairline starts becoming back hair, you have a problem. Keeping the hair at the back of your neck neat, so it cuts a straight line above your shirt collar, will ensure you look cleaner and sleeker.
9. If your beard is grey, keep it short to avoid looking like Gandalf
As we know, the beard is back. There is no problem with this unless you’re going grey, in which case your facial hair can enter old wizard territory (e.g. Dumbledore). Keep it short and neat.
10. DON’T dye your hair
It’s okay if you’re going grey – embrace it like George Clooney embraces supermodels. Avoid the temptation to dye your locks and instead focus on getting a really great haircut.
11. Before you shave, let your face wake up for a good 10 minutes
This will allow sleep creases to fill out and your face to de-bloat, decreasing the chance of cutting yourself shaving. Lathering up well will also protect your skin.
12. Use mouthwash
They remove bacteria and last longer than toothpaste.
13. Use a tailor
Never underestimate the power of a well-cut suit. Clothes that fit you make you look slimmer, taller and emphasise all the right sections. It may seem expensive, but it’s a worthy investment.
14. Use hand cream
Your hands are one of the first parts of your body to show ageing. Having soft hands is a little luxury that, once you experience it, will be difficult to go without.
15. Have a signature scent and stick with it
When you shop for this scent take two important women with you (mother/sister/girlfriend/best friend) and get their opinions. Once you’ve chosen a cologne that you and they love, stick with it. Keep it to one or two sprays in the morning, less is more.
16. If you’re balding, shave your head
“Anyone can be confident with a full head of hair. But a confident bald man, there’s your diamond in the rough,” said comedian Larry David.
If you’ve seen Christian Bale in American Hustle you’ll know that trying to cover up a bald patch is a time-consuming and inevitably fruitless pursuit. Don’t try and hide it. Keep your newly exposed head moisturised and protected with sunscreen or a hat.
17. Use anti-dandruff shampoo and regularly check your collar to ensure there are no flakes
Everyone gets dandruff occasionally. When it arises, fix it as quickly as possible by buying a targeted shampoo at your chemist and regularly brushing your lapels.
18. Don’t wear black shirts
Very rarely do they flatter people. Especially in winter. Wear colour around your face to help you look younger and brighter.
19. Whiten your teeth
You don’t need to pay thousands for professional whitening, simply using a store-bought whitening kit or a mouthwash with whitening capabilities will give your smile a boost. This is particularly key if you’re a regular coffee or red wine drinker.
20. Choose a nice deodorant and use it
Never forget to put deodorant on. Body odour is off-putting no matter who you are. Invest a subtle, soapy scent that isn’t too strong or aggressively masculine.
21. Shine your shoes
A simple way to look polished (excuse the pun).
22. Iron your shirts
This may seem obvious, but many men feel rushed in the morning and fail to prioritise this important element of your morning routine. Alsom hang your shirts up on good quality hangers so they don’t lose shape or become crinkled.
23. Match your belt to your shoes
Even if nothing else matches, these two parts of your outfit need to be coordinated. The exception to the rule is brightly coloured shoes, in which case a brown belt is encouraged.
24. Don’t smoke. Ever.
It makes you look old and you start to stink. Avoid hanging around with people who smoke as the smell will cling to your clothes.
25. Keep black pants really clean
Marks show up very clearly on dark clothes so it’s imperative you keep them cleaner than you would your lighter clothing.
26. Match your tie to your eyes
If you have brown eyes, avoid brown but choose green or yellow tones.
27. Have a damn good winter coat
Jumpers or hoodies often won’t suffice in winter (unless you live in Queensland or Darwin) and, while younger boys and teens can get away with leather jackets or anoraks, a great winter coat is the most classic and practical way to look well-dressed over the age of 25.
28. Deal with pimples if you have them
Cleanse your skin and keep your hair off your face. Use a gel with peroxide to eliminate them quickly.
29. Don’t wear hoods
They’re fine as an accessory off your head, but wearing a hood makes you look like a juvenile delinquent. If you’re cold, wear a scarf or a hat.
30. Buy some great sunglasses
No one looks good in the ultra-thin sports sunglasses many men favour. Instead, go for classic styles like aviators, club masters or wayfarers.
31. Get the dirt out from under your nails
It’s gross and can hint at poor hygiene. Use nail scissors or even a tooth pick to get the grime out.
32. Never wear baggy jeans
They are unflattering on everyone, especially if you can see your underwear over the waistband.
33. Wear colours that suit you
No doubt a fashion-forward friend can advise you, but if you’re completely lost some safe options include light blue, navy and heather grey. They look good on everyone.
34. Get a full length mirror
Seeing yourself from head to toe will enable you to make better outfit decisions and see yourself how others see you.
35. If you’re tired, have a coffee and take a brisk walk to get one
There is nothing wrong with coffee. There is, however, something wrong with being under slept, especially if you work full time. Get out in the fresh air and walk to a coffee shop around the block. Order your usual, but substitute milk for skim or fat-free varieties and don’t get sugar.
Aside from the cosmetic benefits, exfoliating your skin feels great and wakes your entire face up. Do it in the mornings to remove dead skin and help you feel more awake.
37. Wear fitted clothes
“Fitted” is not the same thing as “skin-tight”. When you go shopping for clothing, especially business shirts, ask the salesperson to give you the option of a slim or narrow fit and see how it looks. If you’re a bigger guy, don’t try and hide it with baggy clothes. Instead, ask a shop assistant to take your measurements and find the right size.
38. Use tinted moisturizer or a moisturizer with a small amount of fake tan in it
This may seem like overkill, but no one has to know and that little boost of colour will make you look healthier without the damaging effects of a sun tan.
And check your teeth regularly for any post-lunch debris.
40. Use aftershave
It will soothe your skin, decrease the risk of acne and leave you smelling great. You can’t lose.